Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blessed to be a blessing!

First of all, let me say that there is nothing at all wrong with believing, asking, expecting and receiving blessings. Many have read the prayer of Jabez, and many of us have prayed those prayers that started with the words, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed..." 1 Chron. 4:10. But often times we miss the purposes for which God has blessed us. It is the human condition to think that we are the dead-end of the blessings in our lives. The "redeemed" condition, however, is to realize that we are blessed to be a blessing. What if our prayers today would have as a focus of not just being blessed but being a blessing?

Would you in faith join with me in prayer?

Father, thank you for "every good and perfect gift that comes down from You" that has filled our lives. You are a faithful God and have demonstrated Your faithfulness over and over again! Would you show us today how we can reflect Your nature and character by being a blessing to someone in our paths? Help us to realize that even in the small acts of unsuspecting kindness we are showing people the love of our Father in Heaven. Even in the difficult circumstances of life, help us to look for the "God-moments" that You will most certainly reveal. Help us to be a people who are a blessing to our family's, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers. Truly, we have been blessed to be a blessing! We pray this so we can spread Your love and grace, in Jesus' Name! Amen.

May every blessing be yours today, and may you be a blessing!

~Pastor Randy

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't Worry!!!

It's so much easier to say to someone else than to live it out yourself! We all have so many things that can encumber our minds and distract us from a focused life and prevent us from walking in peace. The words of the Apostle to the Philippians was right on when he said, "...Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything..." Phil. 4:6
My encouragement to you today is that you will saturate your life in a spirit of prayer, knowing that your Father in Heaven cares about you, and that He has the power to effect the change in you and around you in Jesus' Name!
Pray with me today...

"My God and my Father, I come to you with a list that can, at times, be so very long. Sometimes, I confess, I've neglected to bring you my 'stuff' because I was overwhelmed by it's oppression, consumed by the worry and fear of what those things may bring, or I felt that perhaps you were too busy for me, but today, I COME TO YOU! Thank you that in Your presence there is peace for my weary mind, and joy for the journey I'm on. Thank you that You have the power to change my life and make all things new. Today, I bring you my list - I bring You my life - I bring You my love and worship. Today, You are the awesome God who loves me and cares about me, and I TRUST Jesus' Name, Amen"

Now, may you live in the peace of God that passes all understanding, knowing that your God is going to work it all out!

Be blessed!

~Pastor Randy

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Your Will Be Done...

Obviously, the words from Matthew 6 where Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray. What a powerful thought - that God would entrust you and I with the authority to pray His will into existence.
When I think about His will, I think about those things that are in keeping with His revealed Word and nature. Those things, unfortunately, don't always line up with my will. Thus the conflict between His Kingdom and "...the kingdoms of this (my) world..." What we should be praying for, are those things that "could be and should be". Think about it a minute! What could be - and for that matter should be, in your life? It brings a lot of things to mind.
So as we focus toward the end of this designated fasting and prayer time, please join me in prayer in believing God for the actualization and fulfillment of His will for our church.

"Oh, God, my Father, I come to you today on behalf of our church family - and the ministry it represents here in the Pinellas County communities. We have fallen so far short of truly seeing Your will come to pass for our church. We call for prayer, and allow the things of this life to distract us from seeking Your face. We hunger for an outpouring of Your Spirit but languish in our resolve to see it happen in us. We need true fellowship and unity yet allow the unimportant to separate us from each other. We yearn for understanding and knowledge of the Holy One and yet fade in regard to discipleship. We have a blurred vision for Missions, and live the adage of "...out of sight - out of mind." We speak of stewardship but we have prioritized everything but God in our wallets and checkbooks. We dream of ministry and yet bristle at the idea of "serving" someone else. Lord, all these things, and so many more are indications of Your desired plan for our church. I say, Oh God, along with the faithful of Your people - BRING YOUR WILL TO PASS! We say along with Jesus today - "Not my will, but Thine be done!"

May every blessing from being in Christ, be Yours today, in Jesus' Name! Amen"

God bless you and have a wonderful week in Jesus!

~Pastor Randy

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Garment of Praise

"and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." -Isaiah 61:3

One of the things that I struggle with the most when I fast is what Jentezen Franklin calls 'dethroning King Stomach.'. I really love to eat and when I choose not to, it kind of seems like I am a person who is trying to quit smoking. I start going through withdrawal and I get cranky. I know it sounds silly, but I start spiraling into a slight depression. And if I had to guess, there are probably some others reading this that might admit, at least to yourself, that you go through a little bit of that as well. God never told us that fasting would be easy. If it was, more people would do it and I'm not sure that God would think as highly of those who choose to participate in it.

With that said, I think it is important to understand that during a season of fasting, we should really strive to rejoice in this discipline. Isaiah tells us that God gives us a garment of praise rather than a spirit of despair. When fasting, let's try and maintain a spirit of gladness. God is honored when we choose to abstain from food and other things for His sake. What a great way to show our commitment and dedication to God. So, the next time you feel like I do during fasting times, don't allow those negative thoughts to enter into your mind. Try and imagine your Father in Heaven watching you... Rejoicing over you... Beaming with pride as His child works to hear His voice and follow His direction. What a great thought! Rejoice!

-Pastor Josh

Saturday, January 15, 2011

God, our Helper

Psalm 3: 3-5

3But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His holy hill.
5I lay down and slept; I wakened again, for the Lord sustains me.


I want to thank You for you are in our lives...You are a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). When we are at our weakest, God, You are our strength. Lord, I pray that whatever we face today, help us to trust that You are with us, You lead us, and You guide us (Psalm 23:2-3).

Today, we don't need to be afraid, for Your love casts out every fear (1 John 4:18). And as we walk with You today, help us to love You more, love others more, and strive to be more like Jesus.

Help us to recognize (like David did in Psalm 3), that no matter what enemies or obstacles we face, You are our Helper (Psalm 54:4). You lift our head, You give us rest in the midst of trouble and You sustain us.

I pray that God is your helper and strength today. No matter what you are facing or going through, I pray that He would be EVERYTHING you need.


Pastor Wes

Friday, January 14, 2011

What are you looking at?

It's a good question - no, it's a great question! What are you looking at? Perhaps one of the greatest prayers that we could pray would be the one of Moses as he is on the mountain top with God. After a discussion about where they would go from there, Moses says in Exodus 33:18 "...I pray You, show me Your glory!" God carves out a cleft in the rock, places Moses in the cleft, and then passes by proclaiming His Name and allowing Moses to see the backside of Himself - WOW!
Now, I ask myself the question today, "What would change in my life if instead of looking at the world around me, I could behold the Glory of God?" What would happen in your life if, today, you would behold His absolute goodness and hear Him speak His Name to you? I believe everything would change! Why don't you pray with me today...

"Father, let me - let us, like Moses, first of all, cry out for the revelation of Your Glory. And then let us see You with unveiled spiritual eyes. Let us behold the most beautiful sight of all - that is You. Even as the Psalmist David said, " behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His Temple." Let us sing again, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace". Father, it is true, if we can see Your glory then our hearts and minds will receive new strength...our perspective will be altered eternally...our lives will be changed! God, this is my cry...this is our prayer today, in Jesus' Name! Amen.

Be blessed today as you behold the Glory of God in prayer.

~Pastor Randy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Peace of Mind

Many people I have talked with recently have had struggles; some physical, some financial and some emotional. We have been encouraged not to give up. So just what do we do while we are holding on and waiting to see how the Lord is going to take care of our issues?

Phil 4:8-9 tells us, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."

Father, thank you so much for the "text messages" you give us to help us live in the kind of peace that can only come from our relationship with you. Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts so I ask You, Lord to help us learn how to think as you do. Help us to take any negative thoughts captive and listen for your guidance through prayer, fasting and the Word. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Julia Rohrs